Have you ever been on a reality show? Me neither, but now I can say I’ve come awfully close.

Saul and I had the unique experience of spending the last nine months with a woman from Ohio University named Hailee Tavoian. The words “strategy” and “advancement” and “marketing” are all in her title, but big words scare me, so I don’t know exactly what she does.

What I do know is that she carries around a camera, has a ridiculously great sense of style and lights up the room with her smile. She was in charge of writing an article about us for the Ohio Today alumni magazine. She was also shooting video for the online version.

I’d say Hailee takes her job pretty seriously.

When Saul and I went to speak in Cleveland last year, Hailee was there. When Saul and I went to my pre-op appointment in Columbus, Hailee was there. Shooting hoops at the Convo or hanging out on my couch, Hailee was there.

I’m exaggerating a bit. Seeing Hailee show up with her camera was more of a monthly occurrence than a daily one. She was never intrusive. Never judgmental. Never asking for more than we could give. She didn’t even take offense when I said, We just can’t do it right now. We’re swamped or stressed or don’t feel like sharing.

I got two things from my near-reality-show experience. First, I gained a new friend. We all know, a girl can’t have enough friends in this world.

Second, I got a video diary of my family’s experience with breast cancer. It’s a snapshot in time that we will cherish forever.

Hailee actually ended up putting together three videos for ohiotoday.org: one is our cancer journey, one is our love story and one is Jordan’s Cozy for the Cure experience.

It’ll take you less than 10 minutes to watch all three of them, and I hope you will, because woven throughout each one is the undeniable message that whatever you or I go through in life, we are better as a team.